Stress Reduction

Stress Reduction is a nearly universal benefit of cannabis use. Psychiatrist Tod Mikuriya, M.D., noted, “Continued use [of marijuana] exhibits a much more controlled pattern of mood management through a mild stimulation with low repeated inhaled doses.” [1] Scientific research supports the medical use of cannabinoids in anxiolytic (stress-reduction) therapies, [2] [3] [4] but legal statutes on marijuana generally increase the stress levels of millions of cannabis consumers.

Some physicians have recommended cannabis in severe cases such as clinical Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). [5] However, the use of an illegal medication to relieve deep anxiety may have limited actual effectiveness. It is predictable that federal prohibition of marijuana will continue to inflict stress on the majority of both recreational and medical cannabis users through harsh penalties and “zero tolerance.” Drug war policies remain in force in spite of recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences in the IOM report on medical marijuana: “Recommendation 3: Psychological effects of cannabinoids such as anxiety reduction and sedation, which can influence medical benefits, should be evaluated in clinical trials.” [6]

Related sections: Anxiety Attacks, Incarceration, Paranoia Attacks, Psychoactivity.


[1] Mikuriya, Marijuana Medical Handbook. Source: Schaffer Library of Drug Policy,

[2] Guimares, “Anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol derivatives in the elevated plus-maze.” General Pharmacology, Vol. 25, pp. 161-164, 1994

[3] Zuardi et al., “Action of cannabidiol on the anxiery and other effects produced by delta-9 THC in normal subjects.” Psychopharmacology, Vol. 76, pp. 245-250

[4] Zuardi et al., “Effects of ipsapirone and cannabidiol on human experimental anxiety.” Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 7, pp. 82-88

[5] Undocumented case of Vietnam Veteran Fenly Crawford

[6] Institute of Medicine, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999